|This is me at tonight's|
Harlequin author dinner
with a couple of the cute
sexy gifts from the tables!
I wanted to provide a quick run-down of Day One -- my first Author's Day (known in the inner circle as "A Day"). So here I go. Forgive me if you find any typos or weird sentence constructions -- it's been a big day, it's late, and I've just got back from the Harlequin authors "Naughty or Nice" dinner. But more on that later!
|A few of the gorgeous LoveCats ladies (L-R): Helen Lacey, |
Annie West, Michelle Douglas and Sue Mackay.
This is only my second full conference (I went to a workshop in 2010 at Coogee) and I have to say I've already felt much more comfortable this year. There are just more people wandering around that I know and I feel a little more confident about walking up to people and introducing myself.
In terms of the sessions today, to be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect. But there was a good, interesting mix of content. The self-publishing panel was a fascinating insight into how some authors are making self-publishing work for them. What I appreciated most was the level of detail that they discussed about the various platforms, their pros and cons, and how to get the most out of each. The presenters were incredibly generous about sharing their personal information about sales figures and dollars -- which made the session very valuable. Key learnings for me (may not have been the same for everyone):
- use a professional formatting service because you don't need that drama
- ensure your cover reflects your genre and works well as a thumbnail (and a good cover is one thing to invest in!)
- "discoverability" is key
- you need to learn Amazon and how to make its system work for you.
|I can usually resist table mints. But|
Fantales? Who can resist Fantales??
As a result, I now have a Google+ account. Except right now I can't work out how to provide you with a link to my profile and/or page. Luckily, the Google people are around for the conference, so I'll ask them tomorrow and get back to you on that.
In the afternoon we had a brilliant session from Kate Cuthbert on how to organise (and handle) reviews. I found this very useful as a relative newbie, although I think I've been reasonably good at sticking to Kate's advice. (Still it was nice to know I was doing the right thing!) Her key message was "Don't take it online!". If a reviewer, or a reader, says something you disagree with, call your friends, your mum, someone, and complain, but don't ever, ever, go into battle online. Good advice.
After Kate's session we separated into groups and I spent the rest of the afternoon with the lovey group of ladies that made up the Aussie contingent of Harlequin authors. I managed to get them to all pose for me in a photo:
|Too many super-stars for me to name them all here.|
There were readings from their first release books and, most importantly, champagne cocktails -- by this time it had already been a long day, and a drink was sorely required. As well as hearing all about the new Destiny line, it was a lovely time to catch up with everyone who'd flown in during the day and say hello before I whisked myself off for the next, and final, event of the day.
The Harlequin authors' dinner was a highlight for me last year, because I was presented with the "new chick" gift. It was lovely to watch someone else receive that this year. There were a number of presentations, including the famous "Woman Fuzzies Awards". There were also four 25-book pins to present. That's 100 books in total from four authors!!
One of the winners of the stunning 25-book ruby pins was the amazing Sarah Mayberry, a fellow SuperRomance author and all-round cool gal. There was much cheering and applause and then there was a standing ovation for a special presentation to legendary NZ author Helen Bianchin.
|Sarah and I with her gorgeous pin!|
For now, good night!